Nintendo Switch free game and ported Unreal 4 titles

switch joy con handsMixed amidst the Nintendo Switch excitement is the disappointment of it not coming with a bundled game. With games costing around £60 each, potential buyers are having to reorganise their budgets. But there might be a sliver of silver in that particular cloud.

It does seem strange that, as far as we know, the shiny new Nintendo Switch hybrid console will be bucking the trend. Previously Nintendo have packaged games with their releases. The Wii U and Wii came with Nintendo Land and Wii Sports respectively.

It stands to reason that many thought that the same would be the case with the Switch. Sadly, that’s not to be. Not from day one anyway.

Splatoon 2

Switch Splatoon 2So, if you’ve maxed out your budget for the console will you have to resort to making game noises until you can afford to buy a full title? Well, you will get something to play with.

Nintendo is releasing a free “preview” of Splatoon 2 that will be available to play online for three days at the end of March.

This might not be earth-shattering news for PC gamers or those on PS4s or Xbones but this is a first for Nintendo.

You see, Nintendo has never offered free open betas to their consumers before.

The Splatoon 2 preview build can be played over a LAN network on up to 10 docked Switch consoles. This is split between 8 players and 2 watchers in a new Private Battle Spectator mode.

You will also be able to hit the 8 player matches wirelessly too!

This, hopefully, will be the first of many. Even though the betas will only be available for a short amount of time, at least you get to try before you buy.

Splatoon 2 Global Testfire!

You can download and play the Splatoon 2 preview build from March 24th to 26th. Sessions will run in one hour intervals from the following times:

Friday 24 March

  • 7pm GMT

Saturday 25 March

  • 4am GMT
  • 12pm GMT
  • 8pm GMT

Sunday 26 March

  • 5am BST
  • 1pm BST

Unreal Engine 4 ports

It has also been revealed that the Nintendo Switch games console uses the NVIDIA Unreal Engine 4, which Nintendo’s creative director says has been mastered by Nintendo.

Thanks to this tidbit, it is safe to put two-and-two together and surmise that PC games will easily port to the new Switch console.

This would allow games developers to easily benefit from the new platform. Something that the Wii U couldn’t do.
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Nintendo’s creative director Shigeru Miyamoto explains:

Regarding our software development environment, third-party developers who are making software for PC can now easily adapt that software to work on our platform. In the current development environment, I’d say that it would take less than a year for them to port a PC game to Nintendo Switch.”

Nintendo’s managing executive officer Shinya Takahashi spoke of the collaboration with NVIDIA:

I have to refrain from disclosing any technological details, but … we have been very flexible when making technological selections. This time, in order to develop Nintendo Switch with high performance in spite of its low power consumption, I feel it was key that the two companies could work together as partners while also fully displaying our individual craftsmanship.”

Good news for Switch

It will be an interesting first 12 months for the Nintendo Switch. I know a couple of people that have pulled out from their pre-orders already.

Have you pre-ordered? Are you still excited?

Let me know below or on our FB page.